Memry Savanhu, the Zimbabwean actress who stuns in 76
Produced by Izu Ojukwu, 76 is a historical film drama that mirrors the events surrounding the unsuccessful military coup and assassination of General Murtala Mohammed in 1976. The movie which stares widely acclaimed Nollywood stars; Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Ibinabo Fiberesima amongst others also brings to the limelight unfamiliar faces like the Zimbabwean wonder, Memry Savanhu.
Equipped with a degree in drama from London and filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in Abu Dhabi, Memry Savanhu is a Zimbabwean actress, filmmaker and an entrepreneur based in Lagos and partly London. Before 76, she had featured in several Nollywood movies -Lagos Cougars, One Fine Day, On Bended Knees and had produced a few others including “Distance Between.”
Playing the role of Eunice, the extravagant and boisterous neighbor to Captain Dewa and his wife, Suzy, the actress effortlessly – and by her unique mannerisms -imprints her name on the minds of African movie lovers in a performance that is both sizzling and melancholy. Memry reminds us of the strength of the unlikeliest of soldier wives, she proves to us how beyond everything else, beyond their social differences, how each of their stories are greatly intertwined.
The distinctive thing about Memry however will be how she is able to capture ones attention by means other than discourse, will be how gracefully the words roll out her mouth the few times she speaks, and how in her very short scenes she proves to us that one can be so comfortable in a character they become the character.
Her dancing skills cannot easily be forgotten, alongside her profundity and attention to detail; traits which leave the viewers marveling at how a character can do so little and yet be so alive.
In the scene where Eunice is supposed to attend a party with her man and she complains about how she doesn’t like her jewelry, the intensity of the characters attention to beauty is carefully unraveled.
The actress confirmed that on seeing the script, she had been amazed by the storyline and had fostered doubts as regards her sustainability for the role.
In an interview with The Guardian, Memry highlighted her role as an actress and filmmaker; I am more of a producer than an actress. I am a story teller and that is my strength. Acting confines me to stories that are being told in the eyes of another person and I feel this limits me as an artist. I would like be free to tell stories in my own way.